Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Québec schoolchildren were greeted by their teachers with smiles and squirts of hand sanitizer on May 11, 2020 as the province became the first to reopen some schools following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Daycares and elementary schools outside the Montréal area were allowed to open, with a maximum of 15 students per classroom and a new set of rules in place.
At Ecole St.-Gerard in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montréal, Marie Fortin watched as her twin seven-year-old daughters each received a spray of disinfectant from a staff member wearing a mask. She said sending her kids to school was “important for their routines.”
Fortin said she felt reassured after seeing all the preparations done by staff, including sectioning off classrooms with tape, devising a game around handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting.
“We don’t feel unsafe at all,” she said.
Province has said attendance is not mandatory, and one school bus pulled in with a lone student the board.
Marie-Claude Audet, special education teacher, said about half the school’s parents had elected to send their children. The school is bringing them back gradually, beginning with kindergarten and first grade.
Across the province, students are being met by staff wearing masks and in some cases face shields, and they are being told to follow physical-distancing rules and wash their hands frequently.
Libraries, gyms and cafeterias were closed, and children were expected to spend the majority of the day at their desks.
I realize that this report is four months old but it is a quick reminder how fast things can go from good to bad and bad to worse. The need for social distancing is critical in for the return to school of our students and staff. Please ensure that you follow safe guidelines so other students are not placed at risk and we can go back to some sort of normalcy which we need so badly.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.